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Use of machine learning in osteoarthritis research: a systematic literature review.



The aim of this systematic literature review was to provide a comprehensive and exhaustive overview of the use of machine learning (ML) in the clinical care of osteoarthritis (OA).


A systematic literature review was performed in July 2021 using MEDLINE PubMed with key words and MeSH terms. For each selected article, the number of patients, ML algorithms used, type of data analysed, validation methods and data availability were collected.


From 1148 screened articles, 46 were selected and analysed; most were published after 2017. Twelve articles were related to diagnosis, 7 to prediction, 4 to phenotyping, 12 to severity and 11 to progression. The number of patients included ranged from 18 to 5749. Overall, 35% of the articles described the use of deep learning And 74% imaging analyses. A total of 85% of the articles involved knee OA and 15% hip OA. No study investigated hand OA. Most of the studies involved the same cohort, with data from the OA initiative described in 46% of the articles and the MOST and Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee cohorts in 11% and 7%. Data and source codes were described as publicly available respectively in 54% and 22% of the articles. External validation was provided in only 7% of the articles.


This review proposes an up-to-date overview of ML approaches used in clinical OA research and will help to enhance its application in this field.

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